Thursday, March 23, 2006


She Says Halt

Fleur's a right excellent pause artist. No question, she's unmatched! Let's say we're present at a bar and football is up on the tube or something. It's true, she'll suddenly reach over everything, all of it, and her hand swoops through the sky and slams the button. FFFFBWHAM! The bottles rattle, commerce stops, the other patrons spring around. Now really, did that racket need to occur? And they look up at the screen, stopped at this perfect image of Tom Cruise, guns in each hand, jumping off a kitten's back and on each side in big white letters, it says "ONLY $50." Goosechills up and down the nervous system, folks. (Oh, but Nels didn't see, of course, he's trying to get a sticker off his nose.)

FFFBWHACK and we're back to the football. Hey, Tom Cruise wasn't on before or after, was he? Where did he come from? Kitten what? Many of these blokes in the audience get off on some recreational science here, wondering if the television is in the witches' realm, as if the UHF can be stirred in a cauldron or paired up with the wart of a salamander or moth's foot.

But I've asked her and she says it's all those tape reels in canisters back at the television studio and she claims that some of these guys get mixed up while they're splicing. Fatigue sets in and scenes get injected during sleepwalk. Or frames from other films get used to stretch out the frame rates, slow down the sports to squeeze the viewer's intensity levels past the limits nature intended. Then we see a qualified and lucid visionary like Fleur Beckwith strolls along with the passion to see these subcutaneous collisions coming. She says it's like standing on a train and moving over the surface earth and hearing people die all over the world. And saying, "Now. Now someone has died." Or waiting a few moments and then waiting and holding on a bit longer and then saying, "Okay, now. Right there a guy died." Except you hit the pause button and freezeframe keeps him from dying for his last fraction of a second. And it's not some ordinary guy. It's a celebrity in a red cowboy suit. Something universally special.

Absolutely. The Tom Cruise stunt was today even. A fellow leaned over and whispered to his associate, "She's stealing credit. She didn't really do that." The other guy had glasses, so there's no end to his knowledge, and he confirmed, "Right, isn't it? Didn't I hear you say that a studio technician took n' piece that film together? I bet she's never touched film or camera." And they nodded and clicked glasses and did a salud. People used to say that about me, that Aliss did all the work and I just lurked in the dark pushing only one or two buttons. Or that I was only quiet because I spent all day yelling at her, compelling her to wring out music just like the Beach Boys parents. Twisted, of course. But nevermind.

They've really got it mixed. All those broadcast professionals with the headphones hooked to the curly cord are the ones making mistakes. All their flubs are right there on the TV. The picture isn't even all that clear if you look close. Then take one look at that precision when Fleur seizes upon a remote control, a flair when her arms go out and she lands the infrared right in line. And when we're in a bout of lovemaking, just at the very of top of it, she'll tap my chest for a pause and say, "Oh, right there, look, look, look," and our shadows on the wall are some extravagant mural. A cat with long human hair, bobbing its head like there's a nice little guitar tune coming across the surface of the ocean.

There's what I love. She stabs a moment and gets everyone in on it. She's very giving about it. Granted, I can't believe I'm still having sex at 57. I mean that doesn't sound right at all.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


All the World's Canals and Leaks

Aliss H and Her Father - The Terrible Lake

Cassettes and their flimsy little gears, such an innocent-looking spot for a song jail. And I really cannot rescue some of these recordings from such a place! Fortunately, I traded a Television Personalities bootleg online for a digital copy of this song and its friends. Aliss hated this particular era and none of the tracks ever got mixed. All of it's post-Funnel.

Actually, much of the material got leaked through cassette clubs in the late 80s, particularly the Unspun Tapes out of someways in Colorado. I really enjoyed those guys, many great artists. Stuff like Moonpail, a cane-leaning fellow who only played pianos which had been dropped into dumpsters, then he'd climb in the dumpster and supposedly the acoustics were perfect in there! And they had an English band named Hindert that never had a song longer than twenty seconds. Their best songs were only two or three, for sure. Ferocious sounds. But done. Long titles, of course. When I Grow Up I Want To Give The Queen Her Medicine From A Wee Little Bottle Decorated Like A Spaceship That's On Its Way To The Planet Where Raspberry Gasoline Was First Conceived But Not Necessarily Patented, Baby. I really miss that label!

Now, all those kids I knew. All those kids I knew. All those kids I knew. Fell into. The waterfall.

I'm not a very good judge of songs, I can't grade so well. It's all Aliss to me. When she was sixteen she wrote this. I guess it's bleak. Soupy, melting fish and such. Her hair was dyed black, she looked like a little Hispanic kid from the back. She wore mostly shorts. So just imagine her with that little black crown and the shorts and tapping a tambourine on her leg up on stage. I mean that was a phase.

Post-Funnel, trying to mature maybe, trying to get advanced crazy. And the crazy did flow. When she started taking karate and playing with swords in the basement. The kind of very determined clatter that is H.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Dead Acorns Fall Into a Dead End

A reporter from Dead Acorns came over yesterday for an interview. It's a magazine that's been in town for centuries. Started by the primary schools. The reporter who came by was seven years old. His name was James Wesley Stevens, he wore a very smart tartan cap and swung a refurbished reel-to-reel by his side.

He wanted a chair tall enough so that he could look directly into my eyes. I fetched the stairstool from my back porch and took care to slump the remaining inches when I plopped down on the big sofa. He set the recording machine on the table between us. Then, once he got comfortable atop the stool, he digested a butterscotch and asked me to click on his recorder.

"Alright, then. Bravo! And shake of a leaf, turn of a fortunate twig," he said, in a glossy, happy tone that really brightened up the whole room.

"Pardon me?" I asked.

He discreetly shielded his mouth with a tilted flat hand. "It's our service greeting. We always open with it."

"Oh, right, sorry," I said. Then, for the cassette: "Turn of a twig to you, Mr. Stevens."

"Yes, great," said Young Mr. Stevens. "I'm visiting with our friend Pal H today, a man who lives on the block of 6th and Empress, well within our school precinct. I believe there's a school bus stop right here behind the oyster bar. Tell me: does the rustle of little uniforms ever echo across the alley way and into your eardrum at 6 o'clock in the morning?"

"I've not noticed. All of 6th is crowded with trees at any rate." I contemplated bringing up a fun little tale of a school bus fire crashed into a laundromat from eight years past, but things were moving along, so.

"Good to hear! The readers of Dead Acorns Magazine are very well-behaved and respectful, almost to a fault. Though we are also known to scare up our own special blend of irreverence, even many of us have an acute sense of rebellion which befits our youth and pays tribute to the levity of children from all ethnicities throughout the ages." Without missing a beat, his voice descended into a grave tone, near murmur. "Children worldwide love the movies. Tell us about your good friend Yuri Hollops. He's making an animated feature film for children called The Deer and The Potion. Our readers sit in quivering anticipation of this film. I personally have a lot of fervor vested in its release. Have you seen the film?"

I pulled my ear. "You know, I've been very busy lately, I haven't seen anything but the part where the deer drinks the potion. I've also seen another animation where a passenger train gets up off the tracks and starts dancing. But that might not be the same film, I don't remember."

"Oh, well, you can definitely tell which clips go to The Deer and The Potion," said the child. "The entire cast of the film is made of melon balls, animated in the stop-motion fashion. Did the train appear to be made of fruit substance?"

"I really don't think so. It seemed to be more of his clay works. I remember he had the train up and dancing about on its wheels. Clay, I think. And all the passengers are waving out the windows. It's very detailed. There's a female shellfish, or a kind of crawdad, who plays partner, but I don't think the creature or the train or any of it was done in melon."

"See, that's it. It looks like clay at first, but upon deeper viewing you can see he's used some of the rinds in the landscape. And there's a gloss of citrus painting over the top to give it a pulpy effect."

I shrugged and sort of scratched at my head. "I've just been too busy, my daughter's gone missing," Aliss H, I emphasized, "and I've just finished clearing out her refrigerator today. Awful stuff going on in there. An open can of fried beans was particularly at war with the cantaloupe."

He shook his head sorrowfully. "Lots of melons in the news right now, that's for sure."

"I suppose," I said, but then I didn't know quite what else to say. I rather wanted to start into a description of Aliss H and some of my theories about her whereabouts, but I figured most people had heard it already. And those who hadn't probably didn't care enough to listen and find out in the first place. And beyond that, these were just children who were concerned about deers and potions and a natural curiousity about what happens when deers stand upright and guzzle various sorts of potions for a few hours duration. Which is all fine with me, they are in that vital stage of their lives. And I'm in this stage of my life, the one where I am left with nothing at all, except perhaps minor affects which will shortly be disappearing as well out through exits I cannot see and which are all around. It's all an exit out there.

The boy had reached down and stopped the recorder with the tip of shoe. "I don't know about you, but I'm not getting much out of this. I'd really hoped that you'd seen the film," he said. Very disappointed, very dark eyes.

"Look, let me see if I can pop by tomorrow and see if Yuri's around. When does your paper come out?" I asked.

"We go to print at the end of the month," he said, "but I need your testimony a week previous."

"Wait, I've got to intercept calls for the ballet tomorrow," I said. "Give me three days and I'll go see the film. I'll get a picture of the real deer and everything, okay? It sounds like he must have a very interesting pile of melons over there as well. How would that be? You could have diagrams and graphs, a real insider's view, the inside scoop on the melon balls, alright? We're okay, then?"

He nodded and came down off the stool and then paused and looked up at me again. "Thankyou," he said and held out his hand and I reached over and wiped a smudge from the crease right under his cheek. Who knows, maybe I could get this kid a real frothing goblet of potion!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Nels Adds to the Slow Rate of Travel

I drove out to my mother's house in the country today. With Nels, who came along. It's only but an hour's drive, but Nels couldn't make it, got impatient. Particularly in the knee region. He said he doesn't like a lot of pointless time and really laid into me about spending a full hour in the car. In atrophy. Without vitamins. I offered him some sour apple gum, but he declined. It gives him stomach acid.

So, we stopped for omelets in Altvistle. I wasn't sure why omelets had a point and jaunting through the country watching the clouds move overhead didn't.

Anyway, the clouds happened to make their way over our dining, and I found myself quite content to browse around the pastures and mills that outlied the Loaf 'N' Wheel. A number of cows had gathered on a hill level with the Loaf 'N' Wheel, just out the glass, providing me with a rather sublime view, should I choose to accept that cows were generally pretty in some way. They do have a dark and lumbering quality I guessed. So I resolved to discover their beauty and immediately found myself somewhat taken aback by the contours of their shape. Their haunches, for instance, have a very pleasant pair of bones jutting up on top. And the colored tags on their ears add a nice flourish.

By Wheel, they are referring to a wheel of cheese. There was not a true wheel of cheese in the establishment, though, nor a loaf of any kind. Most folks have lamb, at the waiter's recommendation. With the exception of Nels, who had an omelet with a side of olives. The waiter had offered lamb, but Nels had given a look of reproach. Well, this was not the waiter's business at all. On my part, I don't think Nels really understands what waiters do.

We drove up to my mother's around dusk, having spent four and half hours stopping at various spots for Nels to take pictures. Many of the fences and trees along the way looked much like my mother's fences and trees. In fact, hers were assuredly more stark and vivid, what with the mountain sweeping it all up and over the house, whose shutters puffed out like the real wind was inside the house. Like the mountain also concealed the great lungs of the little house.

We walked up to the house arguing about where Nels would sleep should we fall prey to a sudden flood (my mother being in close proximity to a river which joined the sea) and Nels being afraid of the upstairs room, its ancient bathtub and the fact that none of the light fixtures had nice glass encasings, but appreciating the elevation it would give from the rising waters. I was glad to see him argue so naturally, he rarely sports any kind of assertiveness, and I rebuffed him with points about proximity to the scuba gear and offered the tertiary solution of a cot, then oblidged to let him work the remaining conversation out himself, while I sat with mother in her knitting room and talked about the disappearance of Aliss and how I felt that it was time to really strike out after her on our own.